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An Excellent Column on Marijuana Prohibition From Reuters

Submitted by smorgan on

Fairness requires that I call attention to Reuters columnist Bernd Debusmann's excellent piece, America's never-ending prohibition. I've been critical of marijuana coverage at Reuters in the past, so I was pleased to see this:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - America's alcohol prohibition lasted 13 years, filled the country's prisons, inspired contempt for the law among millions, bred corruption and produced Al Capone. What it did not do was keep Americans from drinking.

America's marijuana prohibition drew into its 72nd year this month. It has created a huge underground industry catering to users, helped the U.S. prison population balloon into the world's largest, and diverted the resources of American law enforcement. What it has not done is keep Americans from using marijuana.

On the contrary. Since 1937, the year marijuana was outlawed, its use in the United States has gone up by 4,000 percent, according to the Marijuana Policy Project, a Washington-based lobby group which advocates regulating the drug similar to alcohol. A recent World Health Organization study of marijuana use in 17 countries placed Americans at the top of the list.

Indeed. Rather than measuring the drug war's success by comparing today's rates of drug use to their highest point in history, the drug czar should be comparing today's usage rates to what they were before we started this mindless crusade.

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